University of Barcelona

University Information, Campus and History
(Barcelona, Spain)

The University of Barcelona is a leading university in Spain and the oldest in Barcelona, having recently celebrated its 555th foundation anniversary. It is home to one of the largest academic communities in Europe, with 76,000 students, 5,000 faculty members, and four campuses around Barcelona.

The University was started by King Martí the Humane, who in 1398 sought the Pope's permission to build a university in Barcelona comparable to the then-leading University of Montpellier. The Estudi General of Medicine was the first constituent, built upon the king's royal prerogative. In 1402 it was expanded to Estudi of Medicine and the Arts, and in 1450 King Alphonse the Magnanimous granted prerogative to found it as a public university and rename it the Estudi General of Barcelona.

Today, the University is one of the largest in Europe in terms of student population, with more than half of Catalonia's students under its wing. It is the leader among European universities in student exchange programmes. It is a member of the prestigious Coimbra Group, a network of leading European universities, and has a well-established reputation as an international university.


The University library is the second largest in Spain, next only to the National Library in Madrid. It has 17 sections containing over two million books, 36,000 periodicals, and about 6,000 study sites. The library is the university's primary information centre, with a well-maintained data resource called UB Web. UB Web provides information on campus locations, student services, and a database of electronic resources such as e-books, e-journals, and PDF-format theses and studies.

Each department is well-provided with research facilities, laboratories, and large lecture halls. The laboratories have some of the most advanced equipment in Europe, and the different schools are affiliated with several public institutions to promote community service. The Faculty of Medicine, for instance, has close ties with major Barcelona hospitals for training, research, and services. Audio-visual equipment for the arts and media departments are updated regularly, and the University works closely with major TV and radio stations to train their students and introduce the concept of public service to the field.

When it comes to student accommodation, there are several different choices, ranging from student halls and an official University Centre, to a 'Viure i Conviure Programme', where rooms in family homes are offered. Visitors to the city will discover a wealth of hotels and guest houses (pensiones) within the districts of Barri Gotic, El Raval and L'Eixample, while Barcelona apartment rentals are also popular and often located close to the Plaza de Espana and the Villa Olimpica.

Famous Students

The University of Barcelona has produced several prominent people in different fields, particularly in business and commerce. Its students have found fame and recognition in medicine, media, and the arts as well. Younger graduates are particularly active, winning awards internationally for their excellent work and skill.

One of the more recent alumni to gain recognition is Eduardo Camel Anderson, who won the 2005 Venamcham Frank Amador Award for journalists for his critique on the trade relations between Venezuela and the United States. Acclaimed art critic and curator Rosa Martinez graduated from the University in 1979 with a History of Art degree. Martinez has served as curator in many international art exhibits and regularly writes art commentary for major Spanish dailies. Dr Luis Ruiz, who earned a PhD in Molecular Biology from the university, is a founding member and current CEO of Advancell Technologies, a top medical research firm in Spain.

Students interested in studying at the University of Barcelona, both within and outside Spain, can visit their website for all the basic information. The website is available in English, Catalan, and Castellano (Castilian Spanish) and provides information on the application requirements and procedures, fees, and useful contact numbers. For general enquiries on admission, call their main line at +34 934 021 100 or email them at

The University is also open to exchange programmes from within the European Union. Students from partner universities around the EU can apply to study for one semester to a full academic year. To find out if your university is available for a student exchange with Barcelona, send an email to or
For exchange programmes outside the EU, call +34 93 403 53 81 or email the international office at Visa information and assistance are available by calling +34 93 403 55 62 or emailing Barcelona apartments, cheap hotels and student accommodation are all available in and around the campus.

Contact University of Barcelona:
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 585, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Tel: +34 934 021 100
Email: inuse website enquiry form
Barcelona University

Barcelona University

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